By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer
Monday, March 25, 2013 —
Representatives from Stanly Regional Medical Center (SRMC) appeared for a Certificate of Need hearing on Thursday afternoon. The hearing was for them to request nearly $9 million in funds from the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation to renovate and expand the emergency department (ED) at SRMC.
Presiding over the hearing was Gloria Hale, a project analyst for the Certificate of Need Section of the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation.
Speaking on behalf of SRMC was Stanly Health Services President and CEO Al Taylor, Board of Directors Member Dawn Allen, Vice President of Operations Brian Freeman and Emergency Department head Paul D’Amico, DO. The group asked the state for the money because the needs of the community outweigh SRMC’s ability and facilities to consistently maintain in accordance with the high standards with which they conduct themselves.
Each representative spoke about the current facility, what they could expect of a potentially expanded emergency department and how this updated facility would better serve the community.
Taylor described some of the deficiencies of the current facility.
“We conducted an internal analysis of our emergency department and our study identified the following deficiencies in the physical plan: inadequate number of treatment rooms to accommodate comfort and anonymity of a patient’s visit; inadequate triage and registration area...; inadequate security facility operational control and monitoring; insufficient space to accommodate storage of medication and nourishment supply; insufficient space for our EMS providers and local law enforcement; in addition to that, an additional need for work space for our physicians and professional staff.
“... The project will greatly enhance our ability to respond to the demand for emergency services here in Stanly County.”
Freeman discussed what the new department would entail.
“The new (emergency department) will feature a racetrack design with three nurses stations encircled by 28 patient rooms. These rooms will consist of two trauma and resuscitation rooms, 16 general rooms, eight rapid care rooms and two isolated/OBGYN rooms.”
Freeman said the project would have two exam rooms for sexual assault/rape victims, a crucial space for treatment of those individuals and an area in which the facility is currently lacking a designated space.
He said an updated emergency facility would have adequate space to allow for emergency treatment of psychiatric patients.
“When you serve on the board for an organization such as SRMC, it is our responsibility to listen and respond to the needs of the people in the community,” said Allen, adding that she believed that the proposed expansion would best meet these needs.
D’Amico concluded the presentation by SRMC. He spoke about his experience at the hospital over the past five years and how the proposal could help the facility.
“I believe our proposal is the most effective alternative to meeting the need of care in the community,” D’Amico said.
If the proposal is met with approval, SRMC will begin construction in the fall and complete it by fall 2014.
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